Higher Education Legislation

Higher Education Legislation

Sponsored Legislation
Supported Legislation

*Sponsored Legislation: Legislation that the Campaign helped craft and will actively advocate for its passage.

Sponsored Legislation

AB 705: Ensuring Assessment Equity at Community Colleges

Author: Assemblymember Irwin
Status: Assembly Higher Education Committee

Placement is destiny. A single test should not determine a student’s destiny. Yet, each year over 75% of students learn that they have assessed as not college ready and must enroll in at least one remedial course.  Among community college students placed into remediation, only 4 in 10 will go on to complete a degree, certificate, or transfer in six years compared to 70% success rates  for students allowed to enroll directly into college level courses.

AB 705 will help more students have access to college-level courses when they first enter a community college and ensure they succeed in completing a degree, certificate or transfer. Specifically, this bill requires colleges to use high school transcript data, and it sets a standard for how community colleges use high school transcript data, in the placement of students into math and English courses.

AB 705 Fact Sheet

Download the sample letter of support

Bill Language

How a Little-Known Standardized Test Harms Community College Students

Panel endorses bill aimed at reducing number of college students in remedial classes

AB 847: Academic senates: membership

Author: Assemblymember Bocanegra
Status: Assembly Higher Education Committee

Diverse faculty and leadership at California’s public colleges and universities is critical to understanding and therefore meeting the needs of our increasingly diverse student body. Having a clear picture of the diversity in leadership, or lack thereof, across our systems is the first step in ensuring that leadership is reflective and responsive to the students it serves. Although data on the diversity of faculty and college presidents is readily available, little information is available on the diversity of members of faculty academic senates who have substantial influence over curriculum development, admission policies, state policy implementation and faculty hiring.

AB 847 will help provide a more complete picture of leadership diversity at colleges and universities by ensuring access to information on the representation of academic senates.

AB 847 Fact Sheet

Download the sample letter of support

Bill Language

Previously Sponsored and Supported

2016 Legislation

AB 1741: California Promise Innovation Grant

Author: Assembly Member Rodriguez
Status: Signed by Governor
Campaign Position: Support

Builds off of investments made in the 2016 State Budget Act to establish the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program which will help develop and strengthen regional college partnership programs across the state.

AB 801: Homeless Youth Success in Higher Education Act

Author: Assembly Member Bloom
Status:  Signed by Governor
Campaign Position: Support

This bill qualifies homeless youth to receive the same priority enrollment given to foster youth in state universities and community colleges. It requires the designation of a single point of contact to assist homeless and foster youth to access and complete higher education. Additionally, it requires schools to post public notice about financial and other assistance available to homeless and foster youth. It adds homeless youth to required training elements of the Community College Student Financial Aid Outreach Program and gives homeless youth eligibility to serve under the Student Opportunity and Access Program. The bill also adds homeless youth who meet minimum academic requirements to the populations exempt from community college fees.

SB 906: Priority Enrollment Systems

Author: Senator Beall
Status:  Signed by Governor
Campaign Position: Support

Promotes college attainment for foster youth, low-income students and students with disabilities by ensuring priority registration remains available for these students.

 SB 1050: Postsecondary Education: College Readiness

Author: Senator de León & Hernandez
Status: Passed in 2016 State Budget Act
Campaign Position: Support

Establishes a stronger pipeline from high school – particularly for those schools that enroll 75% or more low-income, English learner, and foster youth – to college by increasing the number of students prepared and eligible for admission to a four-year university while ensuring more qualified California high school students find their rightful spot at a UC campus.

Fact Sheet

AB 1721: Student financial aid: Cal Grant Program

Author: Assemblymember Medina
Status: Held in Senate Appropriations
Campaign Position: Support

Expands financial support for community college students to help them pay for the real cost of college – costs beyond tuition that comprise the bulk of college costs for students. Specifically, this bill increases the number of competitive Cal Grants from 25,750 to 30,000; increases the Cal Grant B Access Award from $1,656 to $3,000; and increases the age limit to qualify for the transfer entitlement to 31 years and permit students who have taken more than a year off from school after graduating from community college to qualify.

Fact Sheet

AB 2822: Emergency Financial Assistance 

Author: Assembly Member Chiu
Status: Held by Author
Campaign Position: Support

Will provide guidance and support to community college districts and campuses who wish to establish emergency aid programs. Programs will help students continue to pursue their educational goals through unforeseen financial emergencies by sustaining students with emergency grants.

AB 1837: Postsecondary education: Office of Higher Education Performance and Accountability (OHEPA)

Author: Assemblymember Low and Eggman
Status: Held in Senate Appropriations
Campaign Position: Support

Establishes the Office of Higher Education Performance and Accountability (OHEPA) to provide statewide postsecondary education planning and coordination.

AB 2137: University of California – Student Transfers

Author: Assembly Member Santiago
Status: Signed by Governor
Campaign Position: Support

Requires the UC to report on California Community College students’ transfers to the UC, including information related to Associate Degree for Transfer earners seeking to transfer to and graduating from the UC.

AB 2329: Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan

Author: Assembly Member Bonilla
Status: Signed by Governor
Campaign Position: Support

Establishes a computer science advisory panel to develop recommendations for how California should expand computer science education and ensure its accessibility to all students in the state.

Affirming Equal Opportunity and Access in Higher Education so California Prospers

Los Medanos Students

California prospers when students can go to college and succeed. And today, California needs significantly more students to cross the graduation stage in order to meet our economic and workforce demands.

We have taken a bold step in addressing California’s looming workforce shortage by adopting a position in support of modifying Proposition 209 (the 1996 voter approved ban on the use of race in college admissions) to permit the use of race/ethnicity as one of many factors in weighing candidate’s qualifications for admission to our public universities.

Our support for modifying Proposition 209 is about greater preparation, access and success for the increasingly diverse young people of our state. If California were to close the gap in college going and success between Latino and Black students and their White and Asian peers, 790,000 additional four year degrees could be produced, 1,150,000 more adults with the skills and education we need for the workforce would come from the community college system alone, and California’s personal income would increase by more than $135 billion by 2020. Allowing racial/ethnic gaps to persist is simply irresponsible and costly.

UC Admission Rates by Race/Ethnicity

UC Admission Rates by Race Ethnicity

We have been sounding the alarm that California will be on track to be a million baccalaureate degrees short by 2025 if current trends in college going and completion do not improve dramatically, 2.3 million short when we include community college certificates and degrees.

Today, only about half of Californians who enter college will ever complete their educational goals. Exacerbating the problem are the persistent gaps in college going and success by race and ethnicity. Given that California is a majority minority state, there is no way for us to meet economic or workforce needs without ensuring students from all races and ethnicities succeed equally.

California has a lot to gain when more of our residents earn a college degree. For every dollar the state invests in students who go to and graduate from college, it receives a net return on investment of $4.80. Few investments have the magnitude of such a return, higher education might just be our smartest investment.

We will support a legislative effort to present California voters with an opportunity to ensure equal opportunity for a greater number of its residents. We will also continue to release reports on the State of Higher Education in California that highlight how California’s diverse students are faring, disseminate critical data to the media and policymakers, and mobilize our broad based and bi-partisan coalition to support this effort.

California needs significantly more students to have access to higher education so they are prepared to help grow our workforce, economy and democracy. Tackling the barriers to college access and completion created by Proposition 209 that have permitted racial inequities is the right thing to do for California’s economic future. I hope you will join us.

To read our lengthier position paper on the need to modify Proposition 209, click here.